The Ecuadorian Chagras

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An Ecuadorian Chagra, the Cowboy of The Andes. Near Pintag, Ecuador.

As we passed through the charming countryside beyond the Pintag village, we were fortunate enough to come across this Chagra. The Chagras are the typical cowboys of the Andes. For the most part they are cattlemen, but they also pride themselves on the showmanship of their stunning horses.

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The landscape that is home to this Chagra: scenic rural mountains, a countryside chapel, and cobblestone streets.

In the high altitude of the Andes, the weather changes quickly, and in the thin air, the mountains under cloud cover can quickly dip into the 30’s even after reaching the upper 60’s in the midday sun.
The Chagras almost always wear a hat to protect them from the rays, as this is the closest point to the sun, on the entire planet. At times they display several layers of brightly colored wool ponchos and scarves,but rarely are they seen in fluffy winter coats.
On some occasions, they sport the heavy chaps seen here, made from the wool of the native Alpaca.
Always friendly and sometimes drunk, they are always an entertaining sight to see.

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A close up of the Alpaca Wool Chaps worn by the Cowboys of the Andes  Mountains in Ecuador.
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A small group of curious Alpacas stared us down as we passed through their mountainside.

17 Replies to “The Ecuadorian Chagras”

          1. The high humidity may be a problem. Our climate is a little drier although we live on the coast. There is a good reason why I love reading travel blogs – I do a lot of traveling from my armchair while I enjoy the hot African sun. 😀

  1. My favorite photo is of the wool chaps. Your post brought back wonderful memories of our time in Ecuador years back. Our favorite spot were the hot springs!

    Very beautiful.
    Peta

    1. Oh Thank you for that! It’s my favorite photo in this post, too! But most have not seemed to notice it. 🙂 The world is funny like that! Where did you visit the hot springs? We haven’t done that yet.

  2. My hubby and I leave for Ecuador in just a few days so I’m reading your post with glee. Had to stop and make a note to pack my sunblock. I did not know that the Andes placed us closest to the sun of anywhere on earth. Love picking up bits of trivia like this. The scenery in your shots is beautiful.

    1. Oh wonderful! Thank you for the compliments and I’m thrilled the blog you enjoyed the blog So nice to “meet” you! Where are you headed in Ecuador and for how long? Sunscreen is so important..when we first moved here we got sun burns all the time. During “winter” the UV index is typically around a 10, and it makes no difference if it’s overcast or not.

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